Although it is a substantial healthcare issue that has a wide economic impact, there is no globally agreed definition of exactly what burnout is or how to explain it. Even so, most people will recognise it for what it is – the inability to function normally due to the excessive amounts of stress someone is under, for whatever reason. Whether they place themselves under such stress themselves or excessive demands are made on them doesn't matter at all. The point is that being burned out can occur to anyone who is not cautious about their stress management, their work-life balance
and their workload - both in a work-related sense and in their private life.
In the workplace, people can help each other by looking out for the signs of stress that often manifest themselves. Examples of this could be, for instance, working late hours, finding it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time or the need always to hurry what you're doing. Managers, in particular, should ask their team members about their feelings surrounding their workloads in a non-judgemental manner. When an employee is asked whether they are coping, it can be tricky to admit to struggling if they are always expected to perform at a given level. By giving people a safe space to discuss their difficulties and stress, managers can avoid the problems that are associated with burnout. These include – but are not limited to – the loss of skilled employees, augmented recruitment costs and a bad reputation as an employer.